Alison visits Viv in York Photoblog.
Follow four days of my City sightseeing visit to see Viv in York recently.
York City sightseeing. Alison & Viv in York.
2) I met Viv outside the Railway Station where we decided to go for a ride in one of the 42 passenger pods on the York Wheel. The 53 metre wheel towers over the skyline offering panoramic views of the historic city. I set up my pocket Fuji F70EXR camera on to the tripod (like I did on a few occasions during my trip) and took this shot before we boarded the Wheel.
3) We prepared the Fuji cameras ready for the ride which was to last about 13 minutes turning three revolutions. Audio commentary was played pointing out the local landmarks.
4) Pressing my rubber lens hood to the glass pod window to minimise reflections I zoomed in on the iconic York Minster in the distance. York Minster is Northern Europe's largest Gothic Cathedral. There are apparently 275 steps of the central tower where views at the top stretch for miles. The weather was overcast and rain was in the air but the views were still wonderful.
5) 2012 is a momentous year of the 800th Anniversary of York being awarded the charter by King John which allowed the City to govern itself. York has been a magnet for people and civilisations since 5,000BC. Tourism has become an important element of the local economy and the City offers plenty of sightseeing tours and places to visit.
6) The Holgate Windmill situated on Windmill Rise is mentioned in Chronicles dating as far back as the 14th Century. The current windmill was built in 1770 and ceased grinding corn in 1933 and fell in to disuse. The mill was given Grade ll listed building status in 1954. Restoration started in 2006. The sky was a bit grey at this point but to see it in all its glory see Viv’s photoblog on the Windmill.
7) I was quite pleased with this photo taken with my Fuji HS10 as it is a bit different and artistic for me and shows one of the five sails which were fitted last year. It is a rare type of windmill as it has five sails, a fan tail and is double shuttered. The Holgate Mill is the last surviving mill in York and only one of two in all of Yorkshire.
8) York is the most haunted City on the planet. (So they say) There are records of ghosts, apparitions and strange goings on than anywhere else in the world. So carrying our tripods and cameras we waited until darkness descended and explored York taking some night photography.
9) One of the traffic free streets with loads of shops provided plenty of photographic opportunities to capture the night light reflections. It might look quiet at 21.41pm but the night owls were buzzing about the bars.
10) All within this compact city centre there was plenty offering everything. There are antique and book dealers, speciality craft shops, themed markets, elegant boutiques and all the mainstream high street shops, Bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants. Something for everyone and only minutes away there are the tranquil gardens and green spaces, shady squares, tearooms and riverside bars. Beautiful preserved buildings like this in Stonegate date from 1434 and look lovely lit up at night.
11) It was turned ten and Viv and myself were still taking night shots in the pretty paved Stonegate area. York's most haunted house was at Number 35 and is over 700 years old. The name Stonegate appears on records as early as 1118 and was built on the roman road Via Praetoria. So much history nearby to the spot where we were standing. It sent shivers down my spine but there again the temperature was dropping.
12) Still within a short stroll of York Minster the pub on the left is said to have been haunted for centuries. Distinctive buildings like that hold such intriguing history and generate vibrant atmosphere. The pub on the right is the newest of three York brewery pubs right in the beating heart of York. I just loved the mixture of old with the new modern and the street was just alive with spirit.
13) We were enjoying our night photography and it was getting darker so the shop and street lights were highlighting the fabulous architecture of the buildings. York bloomed in Georgian times and it became the in place to spend time. Time for a drink beckoned. We just managed to get inside before the last orders bell rang and had a shot glass each of Viv's favourite tipple which warmed us up a bit.
14) Situated on St Helen's Square is The Mansion House and is the home of the Lord Mayor's of York during their term in office. It is built in an early Georgian style. The foundation stone was laid in 1725 and completed 7 years later in 1732. The York Guildhall is situated behind the Mansion House.
15) Next morning the sky was still overcast but at least dry. I took this photo standing by the Scarborough Bridge where my Guest house was situated in the middle location on the riverside walk of the River Ouse. It was well placed for me to walk to the railway station to meet Viv and to go and collect her wheels for the day.
16) We collected Viv's mobility scooter to enable us to wander and explore York further. After a quick impromtu photograph we were off.
17) First stop was to get closer to York Minster. I took this shot of Viv looking up at the Minster's western front. The clock bells ring every quarter of an hour during the daytime and Great Peter strikes the hour. The ringers practice on Tuesday evenings and I heard them ringing later that night from my hotel room.
18) The Minster stands on a site where history has been made over the centuries. The Emperor Constantine began his progress to greatness here, and the foundations of the Roman buildings in which he lived can be seen under the central tower. St Paulinus baptised the local Saxon king on this spot, and many Archbishops, including St William of York, are buried here.
19) As we were making our way to the York Museum Gardens I spotted the little tourist train travelling around the City. I quickly captured it as I stood at the pelican crossing waiting for the green light to cross over the busy road.
20) The York Museum Gardens are botanic gardens in the centre of York beside the north bank of the River Ouse just outside the city walls and they cover a ten acre area of the former grounds of St Mary's Abbey in which ruins can be seen here.
21) The gardens contain several buildings dating back to the Medieval period most relating to St Mary’s Abbey. The Abbey became the wealthiest monastery in the North of England before it was dissolved by Henry Vlll in 1539. Over the next 200 years the Abbey fell in to disrepair and the abbey church was dismantled for its stone.
22) I took the photo opportunity to set up my folding tripod again to compose this composition of Viv and myself with the interesting backdrop of the ruins. The sun was just shining just or a brief moment which made the next few shots a little bit brighter.
23) A more closer detailed look at the Medieval stonework.
24) A different perspective of the ruins taken from the path leading down to the Hospitium.
25) The Medieval half-timbered Hospitium is located between the ruins of St Mary's Abbey Church and the River Ouse and is thought to have originally been a guest house for visitors to the Abbey of low social rank or possibly a barn. Now it is hired out for wedding venues and meetings.
26) The Gardens are also home to a population of semi-tame grey squirrels although they seemed to have slightly bronzed red bushy tails in the mid-day sunshine that shone through the shaded trees.
27) This was taken by the Hospitium building. The gardens are famous for their fantastic collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. The seasonal colours, textures and tones make this a splendid place for picnics and is one of York's largest attractive parks making it a firm favourite for locals and tourists.
28) I looked up and Viv was exploring the gardens and we stopped to take some photographs of the beautiful flowers and plants in their June bloom.
29) A BOAF. (Bee on a flower) A bit of Macro mode photography. I've tried to identify this flower and the closest I have thought is maybe it is the Greek Squill (Scilla messeniaca) Its bracts are short and stubby rather than long and narrow like that of Bluebells. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
30) The 7 spotted common ladybird (The red colour represents the red cloak worn by Mary in old paintings. The 7 spots are for 7 joys & 7 sorrows) I spotted this on a beautiful border purple flower. I'm not sure of the flower name as I cannot match to identify but the crossed pattern and the contrasting colours added a different dimension to the composition. There was a little Aphid crawling beneath the ladybird too. It took 27 shots to get this one shot I was happy with on macro.
31.) I took a photo of Viv taking photos of the flowers. Again I tried to identify the flowers without success. I didn't realise how many colourful different shades, shapes, species of purple flowers and plants there are until I tried researching identification. ( I haven't green fingers)
32) From the York Museum Gardens we stepped out of the gate on to the river edge Esplanade path by the Lendal Bridge. One of the pleasure boats was sailing past in front of the York Wheel.
33) The light was a little overcast so I tried a few Sepia shots as the scenery lent itself to compose the shot in Sepia. The River Ouse from the South Bank looking downstream. Lendal Bridge was built in iron with Gothic features in 1863 by Thomas Page.
34) I changed the UV filter on my Fuji HS10 camera and placed a yellow filter on and took this in B&W mode. I particular like the reflection of the Swan's tail end in the puddle water on the riverside path as it dived in.
35) I experimented with this shot in B&W again with the yellow filter of Lendal Bridge as the River Duchess sailed past.
36) I looked over at Viv and couldn't resist this shot and so zoomed in to view her camera settings. Viv was composing her Black and white shot of the boat and wheel.
37) Suddenly there was a rustling noise behind us and we spotted this cheeky urban squirrel hiding behind a discarded rubbish bag in the green gardens undergrowth. We managed to get a shot or two then we jumped a mile when he hurried off with half a burger bap in its mouth. Neither of us grabbed that photo moment as we stood in disbelief at the speed he scarpered away with his take away.
38) I recognise this yellow centred white rayed flower. The Daisy features in the light hearted saying. He loves me he loves me not. It was said that Spring had truly arrived if one could set foot on a dozen daisies at once.
39) A little juvenile robin was also in the undergrowth with its speckled buff-brown upper parts and underparts. They have no red feathers so that adult birds do not attack them in territorial disputes. The speckled feathers are lost in a partial moult when the bird is about two to three months old.
40) We made our way in front of my guest house by the Scarborough Bridge (built 1844) and I made us a mug of tea each and brought them outside which warmed us up. Then after a short stop, Viv put her right scooter indicator light on and put her left hand out for this fun photo opportunity. Then it was back towards the City centre to return the scooter before 4pm.
41) Just time for a quick shot of the York Wheel which was also the view from my guest house breakfast table situated on the riverside walk location.
42) Possibly a Petunia which was just standing proud in the York Museum Gardens as we made our way back through towards the main gate. There are approximately 4,500 plants and trees in the collection some of the varieties are native to England and some from other parts of the world.
43) This is a different perspective to the one I took earlier. (photo 27) The walls of the two storey listed building on the Hospitium can be seen with the beautiful species of contrasting colourful trees. There are 2,084 listed buildings and 22 Ancient Monuments in York, enough to keep the cameras clicking contentedly.
44) The North American grey squirrel was deliberately introduced to Britain and other parts of Europe during the 19th Century. Since then, despite being released merely as a curiosity to satisfy the Victorian penchant for novelty, the adaptable and hardy grey squirrel has thrived in Britain’s parks, gardens and woodlands. Indeed, it has now become so widespread, that it is accepted by many as a natural part of our wildlife, much enjoyed by many people and perhaps one of the most commonly seen British mammals. We sat for a while watching the antics of the squirrels and taking photos.
45) In the shopping centre square we spotted a display of some birds of prey. I'm not an eagle eyed bird enthusiast so identification is a bit beyond me. Viv took a magnificent majestic photo of an owl but by then I had put my camera away and didn't take a shot. I was unfortunately beginning to feel a little unwell although I'm recovering well from my recent illness. So I went back to my hotel for a good rest, ready for another full day in York.
46) Feeling much brighter, like the weather, with batteries re-charged, I met Viv and we collected her scooter and came across Clifford's Tower. The site of Clifford's Tower was used by the Romans as a cemetery. The bronze and pottery evidence confirms Saxon and Viking occupation. Standing high on its mound, the 11th century Clifford's Tower is the last remaining part of York Castle. In 1068 William the Conqueror built a mound and the round tower, of wood, to establish his control in the North.
47) We made our way along the South Esplanade on the river’s edge passing Skeldergate Bridge and worked our way to this Blue Bridge which crosses the Foss just above its uniting with the River Ouse. The original bridge was built in 1738. The current one 1895.
48) In the distance York's stunning £4.2m Millennium Bridge at Fulford which was opened by the City's Lord Mayor in 2001. The Duke of York gave the high strength stainless steel arch structure the royal seal of approval on his visit.
49) After taking a few shots of the Millenium Bridge we then sat on the bridge seat in the warm sun admiring the views from the bridge and took the opportunity to take photos of the boats and rowers on the River Ouse. (Viv has a lovely couple of photos taken of us on this bridge which appeared in the UK Chat forum thread and hopefully Viv will post below in her comments box)
50) A Greylag goose (possibly) flapping its wings on the River Ouse.
51) Skeldergate Bridge (1882) like Lendal (1863) is an iron bridge with Gothic details. The parapet is decorated with ornate ironwork featuring trefoils, six-pointed stars and the white rose of York. The original design of the bridge was altered during planning to enable the north-easternmost span of the bridge to open, allowing tall ships to reach the busy quaysides further upstream. The bridge was last opened in 1975 and the winding mechanism has since been removed.
52.) After doing a little mileage and having nicked Viv’s scooter at one point, we sat by the bridge at a riverside cafe and ordered a Hot Chocolate. It was a do it yourself style drink. The hot white milk arrived with a bowl of dark chocolate drops to drop into the milk. Well, I set up my pocket camera onto my tiny tripod and did a test shot which happened to shoot just as I said to Viv ... "These look like dog chocolate drops" and we both laughed which was captured on camera . This image reflects the great time Viv and myself had together in York. Then it was time to return the wheels back to the mobility centre and to say our goodbyes until another time. I then made my way back to my Guest house for my last night.
53) At mid day I made my way to York Railway Station to catch my train home.
2012 might be a momentous year for the City of York but it was also a memorable one for me on my visit to Viv.
Thanks Viv for everything and thanks to everyone for viewing.
- So it might be warmer now, but it wasn't long ago that it was Baltic, as this #Fujifilm #S9600 owner's blog proves! http://t.co/sNVjkZe48E
- Sending one of these (mic, not camera) to @geekanoids to have a play with and let us know what they think http://t.co/oMdKC1XbZX
- Not quite sure how this #Fujifilm #HS10 managed to stop this fast-moving subject in its tracks - that's some skill! http://t.co/I2Vz8rGj80
- Perfect for British weather... http://t.co/CcYvg6Zr3b #rain #waterproofcamera http://t.co/K7E42nz2LZ
- @Lensflaredave the best kind ;-)